Natural Science Collections Alliance

Our members are part of an international community of museums, botanical gardens, herbariums, universities and other institutions that house natural science collections and utilize them in research, exhibitions, academic and informal science education, and outreach activities.

Input Sought on Network Integrated Biocollections Alliance

With support from the U.S. National Science Foundation, in September 2012 the American Institute of Biological Sciences will convene a two-day workshop in Reston, Virginia, to develop an implementation plan for the Strategic Plan for a Network Integrated Biocollections Alliance (NIBA). The outcome of the workshop will be a detailed report that will be published in November.

The workshop organizing committee wants the report to be informed by as many viewpoints as possible. There will be two opportunities for individuals and organizations to inform the recommendations contained in the report. Right now, interested parties are invited to review the Strategic Plan for NIBA at Then, please share any suggestions or other comments you think could help inform the discussion and outcomes of the September workshop.

The workshop will consider how best to achieve the following objectives.

  1. Digitize data from all U.S. biological collections, large and small, and integrate these in a web-accessible interface using shared standards and formats.
  2. Develop new web interfaces, visualization and analysis tools, and data-mining and georeferencing processes and make all of the tools available for use in the nation’s collections.
  3. Enable real-time upgrades of biological data and prevent the future occurrence of non-accessible collection data through the use of tools, training, and infrastructure to ensure digital capture of data from all specimens that are added to collections henceforth.

Of particular interest to the planning committee are suggestions concerning the organization and governance required to achieve these objectives, as well as the technology development, workforce development, and workforce training that will be required to achieve them.

Please email comments to by Friday, September 7, 2012.

Following the workshop, additional community input will be sought on the draft report.

Input Sought on Network Integrated Biocollections Alliance
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